A permease encoded by STL1 is required for active glycerol uptake by Candida albicans.
ABSTRACT: Candida albicans accumulates large amounts of the polyols glycerol and d-arabitol when the cells are exposed to physiological conditions relevant to stress and virulence in animals. Intracellular concentrations of glycerol are determined by rates of glycerol production and catabolism and of glycerol uptake and efflux through the plasma membrane. We and others have studied glycerol production in C. albicans, but glycerol uptake by C. albicans has not been studied. In the present study, we found that [(14)C]glycerol uptake by C. albicans SC5314 was (i) accumulative; (ii) dependent on proton-motive force; (iii) unaffected by carbon source; and (iv) unaffected by large molar excesses of d-arabitol or other polyols. The respective K(m) and V(max) values were 2.1 mM and 460 micromol h(-1) (g dry wt)(-1) in glucose medium and 2.6 mM and 268 micromol h(-1) (g dry wt)(-1) in glycerol medium. To identify the C. albicans glycerol uptake protein(s), we cloned the C. albicans homologues of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes GUP1 and STL1, both of which are known to be involved in glycerol transport. When multicopy plasmids encoding C. albicans STL1, C. albicans STL2 and C. albicans GUP1 were introduced into the corresponding S. cerevisiae null mutants, the transformants all acquired the ability to grow on minimal glycerol medium; however, only S. cerevisiae stl1 null mutants transformed with C. albicans STL1 actively took up extracellular [(14)C]glycerol. When both chromosomal alleles of C. albicans STL1 were deleted from C. albicans BWP17, the resulting stl1 null mutants grew poorly on minimal glycerol medium, and their ability to transport [(14)C]glycerol into the cell was markedly reduced. In contrast, deletion of both chromosomal alleles of C. albicans STL2 or of C. albicans GUP1 had no significant effects on [(14)C]glycerol uptake or the ability to grow on minimal glycerol medium. Northern blot analysis indicated that C. albicans STL1 was expressed in both glucose and glycerol media, conditions under which we detected wild-type active glycerol uptake. Furthermore, STL1 was highly expressed in salt-stressed cells; however, the stl1 null mutant was no more sensitive to salt stress than wild-type controls. We also detected high levels of STL2 expression in glycerol-grown cells, even though deletion of this gene did not influence glycerol uptake activity in glycerol-grown cells. We conclude from the results above that a plasma-membrane H(+) symporter encoded by C. albicans STL1 actively transports glycerol into C. albicans cells.
Project description:Glycerol and other polyols are used as osmoprotectants by many organisms. Several yeasts and other fungi can take up glycerol by proton symport. To identify genes involved in active glycerol uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae we screened a deletion mutant collection comprising 321 genes encoding proteins with 6 or more predicted transmembrane domains for impaired growth on glycerol medium. Deletion of STL1, which encodes a member of the sugar transporter family, eliminates active glycerol transport. Stl1p is present in the plasma membrane in S. cerevisiae during conditions where glycerol symport is functional. Both the Stl1 protein and the active glycerol transport are subject to glucose-induced inactivation, following identical patterns. Furthermore, the Stl1 protein and the glycerol symporter activity are strongly but transiently induced when cells are subjected to osmotic shock. STL1 was heterologously expressed in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a yeast that does not contain its own active glycerol transport system. In S. pombe, STL1 conferred the ability to take up glycerol against a concentration gradient in a proton motive force-dependent manner. We conclude that the glycerol proton symporter in S. cerevisiae is encoded by STL1.
Project description:BACKGROUND: GUP1 gene was primarily identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae being connected with glycerol uptake defects in association with osmotic stress response. Soon after, Gup1p was implicated in a complex and extensive series of phenotypes involving major cellular processes. These include membrane and wall maintenance, lipid composition, bud-site selection, cytoskeleton orientation, vacuole morphology, secretory/endocytic pathway, GPI anchors remodelling, and lipid-ordered domains assembly, which is compatible with their inclusion in the Membrane Bound O-acyl transferases (MBOAT) family. In mammals, it has been described as a negative regulator of the Sonic hedgehog pathway involved in morphogenesis, differentiation, proliferation, among other processes. RESULTS: We show that Candida albicans Gup1p strongly interferes with the capacity of cells to develop hyphae, to adhere, to invade, and to form a biofilm, all of which are significant virulence factors. Furthermore, the mutant colonies exhibited an aberrant morphology/differentiation pattern. Identically to S. cerevisiae, Cagup1? null mutant was more resistant to antifungals like fluconazole, ketoconazole, and clotrimazole, and displayed an abnormal even sterol distribution at the plasma membrane. CONCLUSIONS: This work is the first study in the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans, showing a role for the GUP1 gene in virulence as well as in the mechanisms underlying antifungal resistance. Moreover, its impact is even more significant since these results, taken together with all the knowledge about GUP1 gene (from S. cerevisiae and mammals) give consistence to the possibility that Gup1p may be part of a yeast morphogenic pathway parallel to the mammalian Hedgehog.
Project description:Debaryomyces hansenii is a halotolerant yeast that produces and assimilates a wide variety of polyols. In this work we evaluate polyol transport in D. hansenii CBS 767, detecting the occurrence of polyol/H(+) (and sugar/H(+)) symporter activity, through the transient extracellular alkalinization of unbuffered starved cell suspensions. From the D. hansenii genome database, we selected nine ORFs encoding putative transporter proteins to clone in a centromeric plasmid with C-terminal GFP tagging and screened for polyol/H(+) symporters by heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Five distinct D. hansenii polyol/H(+) symporters were identified and characterized, with different specificities and affinities for polyols, namely one glycerol-specific (DhStl1), one D-galactitol-specific (DhSgl1, Symporter galactitol/H(+) 1), one D-(+)-chiro-inositol-specific (DhSyi1, Symporter D-(+)-chiro-inositol/H(+) 1), one for D-sorbitol/D-mannitol/ribitol/D-arabitol/D-galactitol (DhSyl1, Symporter Polyols 1) and another for D-sorbitol/D-mannitol/ribitol/D-arabitol (DhSyl2, Symporter Polyols 2). This work contributed to the annotation of new yeast polyol transporters, including two specific for uncommon substrates as galactitol and D-(+)-chiro-inositol.
Project description:GFP (green fluorescent protein) from Aequorea victoria was used as an in vivo reporter protein when fused to the N- and C-termini of the glycerol uptake protein 1 (Gup1p) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The subcellular localization and functional expression of biologically active Gup1-GFP chimaeras was monitored by confocal laser scanning and electron microscopy, thus supplying the first study of GUP1 dynamics in live yeast cells. The Gup1p tagged with GFP is a functional glycerol transporter localized at the plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum levels of induced cells. The factors involved in proper localization and turnover of Gup1p were revealed by expression of the Gup1p-GFP fusion protein in a set of strains bearing mutations in specific steps of the secretory and endocytic pathways. The chimaerical protein was targeted to the plasma membrane through a Sec6-dependent process; on treatment with glucose, it was endocytosed through END3 and targeted for degradation in the vacuole. Gup1p belongs to the list of yeast proteins rapidly down-regulated by changing the carbon source in the culture medium, in agreement with the concept that post-translational modifications triggered by glucose affect proteins of peripheral functions. The immunoelectron microscopy assays of cells expressing either Gup1-GFP or GFP-Gup1 fusions suggested the Gup1p membrane topology: the N-terminus lies in the periplasmic space, whereas its C-terminal tail has an intracellular location. An extra cytosolic location of the N-terminal tail is not generally predicted or determined in yeast membrane transporters.
Project description:Candida albicans produces large amounts of the pentitol D-arabitol in culture and in infected mammalian hosts, but the functional and pathogenic significance of D-arabitol in C. albicans is not known. In this study, we sought to elucidate the pathway by which C. albicans synthesizes D-arabitol and to identify and characterize key enzymes in this pathway. C. albicans B311 produced D-[14C-1]arabitol from [14C-2]glucose; this finding implies on structural grounds that D-ribulose-5-PO4 from the pentose pathway is the major metabolic precursor of D-arabitol. NAD- or NADP-dependent pentitol dehydrogenases catalyze the final steps in D-arabitol biosynthesis in other fungi; therefore, lysates of C. albicans B311 were tested for enzymes of this class and were found to contain a previously unknown NAD-dependent D-arabitol dehydrogenase (ArDH). The ArDH structural gene was cloned by constructing a new D-arabitol utilization pathway in Escherichia coli. The C. albicans ArDH gene expressed in E. coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction D-arabitol + NAD <-->D-ribulose + NADH; this gene was present as a single copy per haploid genome, and its deduced peptide sequence was homologous with sequences of several members of the short-chain dehydrogenase family of enzymes. These results suggest that (i) C. albicans synthesizes D-arabitol by dephosphorylating and reducing the pentose pathway intermediate D-ribulose-5-PO4 and (ii) ArDH catalyzes the final step in this pathway.
Project description:Glycerol has attracted attention as a carbon source for microbial production processes due to the large amounts of crude glycerol waste resulting from biodiesel production. The current knowledge about the genetics and physiology of glycerol uptake and catabolism in the versatile industrial biotechnology production host Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been mainly based on auxotrophic laboratory strains, and carried out in the presence of growth-supporting supplements such as amino acids and nucleic bases. The latter may have resulted in ambiguous conclusions concerning glycerol growth in this species. The purpose of this study was to re-evaluate growth of S. cerevisiae in synthetic glycerol medium without the addition of supplements.Initial experiments showed that prototrophic versions of the laboratory strains CEN.PK, W303, and S288c did not exhibit any growth in synthetic glycerol medium without supporting supplements. However, a screening of 52?S. cerevisiae isolates for growth in the same medium revealed a high intraspecies diversity. Within this group significant variation with respect to the lag phase and maximum specific growth rate was observed. A haploid segregant of one good glycerol grower (CBS 6412-13A) was selected for detailed analysis. Single deletions of the genes encoding for the glycerol/H+ symporter (STL1), the glycerol kinase (GUT1), and the mitochondrial FAD+-dependent glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GUT2) abolished glycerol growth in this strain, implying that it uses the same glycerol utilization pathway as previously identified in auxotrophic laboratory strains. Segregant analysis of a cross between CBS 6412-13A and CEN.PK113-1A revealed that the glycerol growth phenotype is a quantitative trait. Genetic linkage and reciprocal hemizygosity analysis demonstrated that GUT1CBS 6412-13A is one of the multiple genetic loci contributing to the glycerol growth phenotype.The S. cerevisiae intraspecies diversity with regard to glycerol growth is a valuable starting point to identify the genetic and molecular basis of this phenotype. This knowledge can be applied for further rational strain improvement with the goal of using glycerol as a carbon source in industrial biotechnology processes based on S. cerevisiae as a production organism.
Project description:Production and balance of glycerol is essential for the survival of yeast cells in certain stressful conditions as hyperosmotic or cold shock that occur during industrial processes as winemaking. These stress responses are well-known in S. cerevisiae, however, little is known in other phylogenetically close related Saccharomyces species associated with natural or fermentation environments such as S. uvarum, S. paradoxus or S. kudriavzevii. In this work we have investigated the expression of four genes (GPD1, GPD2, STL1, and FPS1) crucial in the glycerol pool balance in the four species with a biotechnological potential (S. cerevisiae; S. paradoxus; S. uvarum; and S. kudriavzevii), and the ability of strains to grow under osmotic and cold stresses. The results show different pattern and level of expression among the different species, especially for STL1. We also studied the function of Stl1 glycerol symporter in the survival to osmotic changes and cell growth capacity in winemaking environments. These experiments also revealed a different functionality of the glycerol transporters among the different species studied. All these data point to different strategies to handle glycerol accumulation in response to winemaking stresses as hyperosmotic or cold-hyperosmotic stress in the different species, with variable emphasis in the production, influx, or efflux of glycerol.
Project description:Yarrowia lipolytica is an attractive host for sustainable bioprocesses due to its ability to utilize a variety of carbon substrates and convert them to a range of different product types (including lipids, organic acids and polyols) under specific conditions. Despite an increasing number of applications for this yeast, relatively few studies have focused on uptake and metabolism of carbon sources, and the metabolic basis for carbon flow to the different products. The focus of this work was quantification of the cellular performance of Y. lipolytica during growth on glycerol, glucose or a mixture of the two. Carbon substrate uptake rate, growth rate, oxygen utilisation (requirement and uptake rate) and polyol yields were estimated in batch cultivations at 1 litre scale. When glucose was used as the sole carbon and energy source, the growth rate was 0.24 h-1 and biomass and CO2 were the only products. Growth on glycerol proceeded at approximately 0.30 h-1, and the substrate uptake rate was 0.02 mol L-1 h-1 regardless of the starting glycerol concentration (10, 20 or 45 g L-1). Utilisation of glycerol was accompanied by higher oxygen uptake rates compared to glucose growth, indicating import of glycerol occurred initially via phosphorylation of glycerol into glycerol-3-phosphate. Based on these results it could be speculated that once oxygen limitation was reached, additional production of NADH created imbalance in the cofactor pools and the polyol formation observed could be a result of cofactor recycling to restore the balance in metabolism.
Project description:We provide an integrated dynamic view on a eukaryotic osmolyte system, linking signaling with regulation of gene expression, metabolic control and growth. Adaptation to osmotic changes enables cells to adjust cellular activity and turgor pressure to an altered environment. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae adapts to hyperosmotic stress by activating the HOG signaling cascade, which controls glycerol accumulation. The Hog1 kinase stimulates transcription of genes encoding enzymes required for glycerol production (Gpd1, Gpp2) and glycerol import (Stl1) and activates a regulatory enzyme in glycolysis (Pfk26/27). In addition, glycerol outflow is prevented by closure of the Fps1 glycerol facilitator. In order to better understand the contributions to glycerol accumulation of these different mechanisms and how redox and energy metabolism as well as biomass production are maintained under such conditions we collected an extensive dataset. Over a period of 180 min after hyperosmotic shock we monitored in wild type and different mutant cells the concentrations of key metabolites and proteins relevant for osmoadaptation. The dataset was used to parameterize an ODE model that reproduces the generated data very well. A detailed computational analysis using time-dependent response coefficients showed that Pfk26/27 contributes to rerouting glycolytic flux towards lower glycolysis. The transient growth arrest following hyperosmotic shock further adds to redirecting almost all glycolytic flux from biomass towards glycerol production. Osmoadaptation is robust to loss of individual adaptation pathways because of the existence and upregulation of alternative routes of glycerol accumulation. For instance, the Stl1 glycerol importer contributes to glycerol accumulation in a mutant with diminished glycerol production capacity. In addition, our observations suggest a role for trehalose accumulation in osmoadaptation and that Hog1 probably directly contributes to the regulation of the Fps1 glycerol facilitator. Taken together, we elucidated how different metabolic adaptation mechanisms cooperate and provide hypotheses for further experimental studies.
Project description:The Candida albicans HOG1 gene (HOG1CA) was cloned by functional complementation of the osmosensitive phenotype associated with Saccharomyces cerevisiae hog1 delta mutants. HOG1CA codes for a 377-amino-acid protein, 78% identical to S. cerevisiae Hog1p. A C. albicans hog1 null mutant was found to be sensitive to osmotic stress and failed to accumulate glycerol on high-osmolarity media.